Friday, May 24, 2013

Bad Argument: "Don't Blame Me (even though I told you to join a scam)"

Don't Blame Me (album)
Don't Blame Me (album)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Scammers are often an extremely egotistical bunch, and supreme narcissists. Even when caught, they will refuse to take responsibility of their own actions, but instead, rationalize some reason to deflect the blame from themselves. In case of multi-level Ponzi schemes, where "investors" are recruited in order to enrich the people who are already in, the recruiters will often bring up the "don't blame me" excuse.

One of the most egregious excused was uttered recently by Paul Burks, operator of the $700 million Zeek Rewards ponzi scheme that ensnared a million people around the world. When asked by Associated Press...

Asked if he had anything to say to victims, he shook his head.
"I never told anyone to invest more money than they could afford," Burks snapped. "I didn't tell them to do that. Never."
He said if they lost money, "it's their fault. Not mine. Don't blame me."

He blamed the victims for giving him money. In his mind, it was given to him of free will, and he had "warned" them, so if they're too dumb to understand the warning, it certainly ain't his fault.

It's victim blaming. It's a stupid tactic. 

Narcissism is a recognized personality disorder in psychology and some psychologists have added a subtype, known as unprincipled narcissism, to described the scoundrel type that see themselves above the rest and everybody else deserve to be fleeced.

He's hardly alone. Dennis Bolze was another who tried this excuse. The difference is Bolze tried this in court, in front of a judge, trying to get his 22 year sentence reduced. Why did he get 22 years? For cheating millions of dollars out of seniors. The judge didn't buy it at all. Bolze said the SAME THINGS that Burks did: that his victims knew what they were doing and were investing discretionary income (i.e. money they can afford to lose).

But what about the lower-level recruiters, who were not near the top, but merely feeding people into the maw hoping to benefit from the ponzi (and in many cases, did)?

If the scheme hadn't been declared illegal locally, they can use two more arguments:
And if they play their cards right, they will be forgiven, so that they can then recruit people into some OTHER suspect schemes that catch their eyes next.

And they never learned THEIR lesson, that all their "conviction" that it can't be a scam, was wrong. It sure *could* have been a scam.

Don't you miss that same lesson: don't trust someone just because they say so. They may turn around and blame you later.
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